18 Jul Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with current Scholar Tabitha Kalin
Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Angelique Diaz.
Scholar Year: 2014
Hometown: Colorado Springs
College, Major(s), and Graduation Year(s):
Colorado School of Mines, B.S. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, May 2018; M.S. Engineering and Technology Management, December 2018
What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating?
I am still not sure what the future holds for me as I approach graduation. I hope to complete my master’s in engineering and technology management after I complete my engineering degree. The future after that is very open. As I have continued to explore the world and had internship opportunities, the list of things I would like to do and careers I am interested in pursuing continues to grow. Currently I am very interested in energy and genetic engineering. I would love to work in disease and vaccine development. I am also interested in working in alternative fuels and energy sources.
Tell us about what activities, groups, and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them.
I am involved in biochemical research on campus, working with developing optical nanosensors for the use of medical diagnosis and improved efficiency. Outside of the classroom and lab, I have been fortunate enough to join several organizations across the campus. I have joined the Sigma Kappa Sorority, Kappa Kappa Psi service fraternity, and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor fraternity. I have also joined the Society of Woman Engineers and the Colorado School of Mines Marching Band. I have been very fortunate enough to continue my passion for service and music in my extracurricular activities as I pursue a degree in STEM.
Tell us about an important mentor you have had.
My most important mentor and influence in my life has been my father. My father has always been my go-to when I needed advice or guidance on a direction, especially as I have started college and moved for internships. He has been very supportive and even ventured to Alaska to help me move. When you lose an exhaust pipe in the middle of the Yukon Territory, the real engineer comes out and, somehow, we made it to Anchorage. My father has also helped me get involved in groups and activities that challenge me and help me grow, and I would not be the person I am today without him.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I ever received was to “say yes more than no, because no experience can hurt you; it can only teach you.” Because of this, I can now say I have climbed a mountain in a blizzard and moved 3,000 miles away for an internship. As a very busy person, it is easy to fall into the trap of not trying new things or not rearranging your schedule because you think you have too much to do. However, the best moments are spontaneous and the moments that push you out of your comfort zone.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why?
If I could have dinner with someone from history, I would want to have dinner with the Gene Kranz, the mission control director of the Apollo XIII mission, which was the the infamous “Houston, we have a problem” mission. As the director, Kranz made it very clear that “Failure was not an option.” I would want to talk to Kranz and get a sense of what character he had and the determination that brought the Apollo XIII crew back to Earth safely.